James Lankford says he won't support tax bill if it increases debt too much

Sen. James Lankford says he would vote against any tax reform package that would increase the debt too much.

"I'm actually not comfortable with increasing the debt. This has been a behind the scenes conversation for a long time," the Oklahoma Republican said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

"It's one thing to be able to cut taxes. It's another thing to be able to say how are we going to deal with our debt and deficit? So, my main focus has been whatever economic growth model we put in place has to be reasonable to be able to do it," he added.

Lankford said that tax cuts would result in 0.4 percent growth in the economy and that it has been "stuck in a rut" for the last 10 years because it has not grown above 2 percent or above 3 percent growth in a single year.

"We're going to have to bump the record player to be able to get something going on the economy again. And that we want be reasonable on our assumptions to do it," he said.

Asked if he would be a "no" if a tax bill resulted in increasing the debt too much, Lankford said, "I am a no."

House Republicans released their tax reform bill last Thursday, but Senate Republicans have not rolled out their version yet. House Republicans are aiming to pass their legislation by Thanksgiving. 

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.